Wednesday, March 27, 2013

No Snow Job


Residents of Amarillo, Texas want moisture. We'd prefer a gentle soaking rain, but we'll even rejoice if it snows on Easter morning. How much do we want? A friend said "we'll praise the Good Lord for whatever He sends us."

A Canadian by birth, I was tempted to repeat the old adage "be careful what you wish for." The next day my brother Bill, sent me this reminder of Winnipeg, Manitoba's snowstorm of the century.

He said in his email: "Bernice, you were in Texas, so you missed this storm."

As I continued to read, I realized, despite the dry Texas air, there's nothing I miss about Manitoba's winters.

All these years in Texas, I've laughed about letting kids off school on "snow days." Growing up, I'd never heard of such nonsense. But the storm of March, 1966 shut down schools, and nearly the entire city. Driving snowmobiles (and those vehicles were not numerous back then) the police pulled toboggans behind them to transport doctors to emergencies.

When the snow stopped, youngsters, who could get out of their homes, reveled in the snow, sliding down the drifts, pelting each other with snowballs, and playing until their mittens were soaked or they were exhausted. The next week, "kids had fun climbing up the snow banks onto the roofs of the school (it shows this in the pictures.)"

Even as the sun shone, the infirm, the elderly, and single mothers with young children rang emergency numbers for help. My brother, with friends and shovels loaded in his car that had been parked near a main street, went to a dozen homes with supplies from emergency centers. In most cases, their first job at the addresses was to shovel the drifts from doors that could not be pushed open from the inside.

My favorite anecdote from Bill's account was his telling about his car accident. "A week later using my car for work," he writes, "I moved over to let another car go by in the single lane on the street, and moved into a snow bank. Unfortunately there was still a car underneath all that snow."

People are more important than cars. I'm glad Bill had something solid under his wheels.

Bill said more in his email, and expressed it with more eloquence and greater emotion than my second-hand job does. But since I wanted to let my readers see a newscast without my infringing on their copyright, I had to give you a heads up before presenting this link.




1 comment:

  1. Snow days in these parts may seem silly to someone who is used to seeing mounds upon mounds of snow, but it should also be noted that folks around here don't know how to drive in mounds of snow. They aren't used to it. It's better to let them stay home from school or work because they could truly be risking their lives by trying to navigate in such unusual weather. How long did your winters last while you lived in Canada? Do you ever wish to be back when temps here begin to triple? I think I would rather take triple digit heat than sub-zero cold. :)